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16 December 2005 PR 05/117

Investment Manager appointed for Lachesis, the region’s University Challenge Seed Fund

Lachesis, the £8 million venture capital fund that supports innovative technologies from five East Midlands universities, is delighted to welcome Elaine Eggington as University Investment Manager.

The Lachesis Seed Fund invests in the technologies arising from research undertaken at De Montfort, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent universities, it focuses on the commercial development of early stage technologies with potential for high growth and investment return – as such the portfolio has a strong bio-medical, engineering and materials focus, reflecting the expertise of the partner universities. The Fund is managed by Quester, a leading independent UK venture capital company.

Since its launch in June 2002, Lachesis has funded 33 projects originating from all five universities across a wide range of technology areas including biotechnology, diagnostics and drug discovery and delivery, software, engineering and sports training technology. To date, seven spin out companies have been created and funded, all of which have raised external finance from Business Angels, Catapult East Midlands and NESTA. Lachesis has also raised an additional £3.9 million of capital, almost doubling the original fund size of £4 million.

Elaine is responsible for identifying investment prospects from the partner universities and advising potential investee companies on the preparation of investment proposals and business plans. She will be managing the Lachesis portfolio of seed investments, and will take on a number of non-executive director positions in investee companies. She will also be responsible for coordinating a network of advisers and non-executive directors from portfolio companies, with particular emphasis on those with seed and start-up experience. Elaine is based at Loughborough University, Lachesis’ coordinating institution.

Elaine joins Lachesis from Cambridge Research BioVentures Ltd, a venture capital investment company, where she was responsible for identifying and analysing emerging businesses within the biotechnology, healthcare and life sciences sectors. Prior to this, Elaine worked in the commercial department of Acambis Ltd (formerly Peptide Therapeutics Ltd), where she established the information services function. Before that she was the Information Manager at AgrEvo UK Ltd (formerly Schering Agrochemicals) for eight years.

Jonathan Gee, Director at Quester, commented: “We are seeing some excellent investment prospects emerging from this network of universities and Elaine’s appointment will enable us to accelerate the investment process, as well as providing these prospects with the necessary advice and hands on support, at the earliest stage of their development. Her specialist experience of working with early companies will be fundamental in helping them achieve their long term commercial potential.”

Elaine added: “I am delighted to be joining the Lachesis Fund and look forward to working with a variety of exciting, early stage companies, and to helping them develop and harness the commercial value of their technology.”

ENDS

For further information contact:

Notes to editors

About Lachesis (http://www.lachesisfund.com)
The Lachesis Fund was established in June 2002 with £3 million from the Government’s University Challenge Seed Fund Scheme, and an additional £1 million from the five university partners (De Monfort University, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham and The Nottingham Trent University). In 2004/5 the Fund received a £3 million contribution from emda, the East Midlands Development Agency and funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the European Regional Development Fund, bringing the total size of the Fund to £7.9 million.

The Fund invests in the ‘seed corn’ funding gap that exists for very early stage technologies emerging from the partner universities enabling:

About Quester (http://www.quester.co.uk)
Quester is one of the UK’s leading venture capital companies and has been providing equity for growing technology companies for more than 20 years. It manages over £200 million on behalf of major institutional investors, leading UK universities, and three quoted venture capital trusts.

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